News briefs

Generous gift

Programs in media and the developing child, political and health communication and information and society will be all under one roof come 2008, thanks to a generous donation from a well-known source. Announced late last month, Penn has received a $30 million gift from the Annenberg Foundation of Radnor, Pa. and the Annenberg Trust at Sunnylands to construct a building that will house the Annenberg Public Policy Center. In addition, the Annenberg Foundation has endowed a $2 million chair in the humanities (named for former Provost Vartan Gregorian) and provided $500,000 for graduate student fellowships.

The new building will be constructed on the 36th St. walk, adjacent to the Annenberg School and will also feature a first-floor forum space, open to the entire University for lectures, conferences and public debates.

Fighting the good fight at Penn

From Penn student to Penn administrator, Ira Harkavy has always kept his focus on the community. As a student, he led protests against the Vietnam War and against Penn’s treatment of the community. Currently, as the director and founder of Penn’s Center for Community Partnerships, he forms vital partnerships between the University and its West Philadelphia neighbors. The Center works with public schools, nonprofits and faith communities to address issues that face the areas surrounding Penn. To honor his work, Harkavy has been awarded the University of Pennsylvania Alumni Award of Merit.

PAACH work

The Asian-American community at Penn is flourishing, and the Pan Asian-American Community House (PAACH) has been working to keep it that way. Now the House has a new director, June Y. Chu, who will work to support the goals of the community. Her responsibilities range from promoting a better understanding of Asian cultures to working with Asian American alumni, students and national organizations. Chu holds a Ph.D. in Social Psychology from the University of California, Davis, and worked there as a research analyst. Prior to joining Penn, she was a graduate researcher at the National Center on Asian American Health.

Possible provost

Know someone who might make an excellent academic leader of Penn? Then submit his or her name to the Provost Search Committee. Everyone in the University community is welcome to submit input and advice regarding the nature of the Provost position and the kind of person who might make an energetic and judicious academic officer. The Provost is responsible for the conduct, coordination and quality of all of Penn’s academic programs and should be a person who can propel the University’s programs into the forefront of American and global higher education. Nominations and suggestions should be sent in confidence to: or by mail to: Provost Search Committee; c/o Ms. Barbara Stevens; Isaacson, Miller; 1275 K St., NW, Suite 1025; Washington, DC 20005.

Fels swoop

After three years as Deputy Director of the Fels Institute of Government, Christopher Patusky has been appointed to the top job of executive director. A Fels graduate, Patusky has directed several major projects during his tenure, including a recent grant of $250,000 from the Carnegie Corporation to support students working with MSNBC. As the executive director of Fels, Patusky will oversee operations and finances, including admissions, grant and contract development, alumni relations and public-sector outreach. He will also lead the Fels Government Research Service, which partners government agencies with Fels faculty and students.

What’s your number?

The easiest and most up-to-date way to reach people all over campus is hot off the presses. The 2004-5 faculty and staff telephone directory—already on its way to the offices that have ordered it—is available to the entire Penn community. Haven’t gotten one yet? Send an email to or contact your department’s Directory Liasion to receive one. Corrections to the paper directory should be submitted to that address and the on-site publishers, Creative Communications, will issue a directory update with those changes in January of 2005. Electronic updates may be made year-round at:

Combating youth violence

How do you identify and intervene with violently injured youth? A Nov. 18 forum from the Firearm and Injury Center at Penn will address that issue, and present ways to achieve more positive outcomes. Elizabeth Datner, assistant professor of emergency medicine at Penn Medicine, Joel Fein, associate professor of pediatrics and emergency medicine at Children’s Hospital and Cynthia Johnson Mollen, assistant professor of pediatrics and emergency medicine at CHOP will talk from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. in the Terrace Room in Logan Hall. For more information, visit

What are the odds?

Filmmaker Su Friedrich talks about the road to recovery, in a special presentation of her work, sponsored by International House and Penn’s Cinema Studies and Women’s Studies programs. The producer and director of 13 films presents “The Odds of Recovery” (2002), a film about her own health and wellness problems—from a bad hormone problems to the onset of middle age—and “Rules of the Road” (1993), the story of a lesbian love affair and its demise. Her free talk and screening at International House, located at 3701 Chestnut St., begins at 7 p.m. on Nov. 16. For more information call 215-895-6569 or go to


Originally published on November 4, 2004